Munson Health
 
Chickenpox

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by Alan R

(Varicella)

 

Risk Factors

Chickenpox is more common in children under 3 years old, with peak incidence between 5-9 years old. Other factors that may increase your chance of chickenpox include:
 

Prevention

Avoid contact with anyone who has chickenpox. Contact people you may have exposed the virus to. This is very important if you have not been vaccinated against the infection.

Vaccination in Children

The varicella vaccine, or a combination vaccine called MMRV, is recommended for most children. MMRV protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella.
There is a catch-up schedule if your child has missed the routine injections.

Vaccination in Adults

Adults who have never had chickenpox or received the varicella vaccine should be vaccinated.

Vaccination After Exposure

If you or your child has not been vaccinated, but are exposed to chickenpox, a vaccine given right away may help lessen the severity of the infection, or prevent the infection.
If you or your child has not been vaccinated, but are exposed to chickenpox, a vaccine given right away may help lessen the severity of the infection, or prevent the infection.
 

RESOURCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
http://familydoctor.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children
http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca

College of Family Physicians of Canada
http://www.cfpc.ca

 

References


Chickenpox. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 14, 2014. Accessed August 27, 2014.


Gales SA, Sweet A, et al. The safety profile of varicella vaccine: a 10-year review. J Infect Dis. 2008;197(Suppl2):S165-9).


Immunization schedules. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules. Updated January 31, 2014. Accessed August 27, 2014.


Marin M, Meissner HC, et al. Varicella prevention in the United States: a review of successes and challenges. Pediatrics. 2008;122: e744-51.


A New Product (VariZIG) for Postexposure Prophylaxis of Varicalla Available under an Investigational New Drug Application Expanded Access Protocol. MMWR. 2006;55: 209-210.


Skull SA, Wang EE. Varicella vaccination: a critical review of the evidence. Arch Dis Child. 2001;85:83-90.


Varicella (chickenpox) vaccination. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/varicella/default.htm. Updated April 5, 2012. Accessed August 27, 2014.


Vazquez M, LaRussa PS, et al. Effectiveness over time of varicella vaccine. JAMA. 2004;291:851-855.


10/14/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Macartney K, McIntryre P. Vaccines for post-exposure prophylaxis against varicella (chickenpox) in children and adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(3):CD001833.

 

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